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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 4

Oct 1, 2021

If mummies had faces: Scientists use DNA to see how ancient Egyptians looked

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

DNA extracted from ancient Egyptian mummies is offering an intriguing glimpse at what three men might’ve looked like when they hung out in the Fertile Crescent more than 2,000 years ago.

The genetic sleuthing led to highly detailed 3D constructions of a trio from an ancient Nile community known as the Abusir el-Meleq who are estimated to have lived between 2,023 and 2,797 years ago.

The images result from DNA phenotyping, which predicts a person’s physical characteristics based on genetic data. The re-creations mark the first time comprehensive DNA phenotyping has been performed on human DNA this old, according to Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs, the company behind the images. Parabon typically taps DNA phenotyping to help solve criminal cases.

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Oct 1, 2021

Higher rates of mutation alone are not to blame for age-related disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

New research exploring theories of aging has found that small mutations accumulating in DNA are unlikely to be fully responsible for this process.

The research, a collaboration between the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University of Birmingham, University of Edinburgh and others, found that and tissues can accumulate many more than are normally present, without the body showing the features associated with aging.

The new study, published today (30 September) in Nature Genetics, compared DNA taken from individuals with inherited mutations in genes involved in DNA replication with DNA from individuals who have normal versions of these genes. The researchers aimed to understand the impact of defective DNA replication on and features associated with aging. The results suggest that build-up of mutations in is unlikely to be the only factor in the development of age-related disease, adding to the ongoing debate about the causes of aging.

Oct 1, 2021

CRISPR Gene Therapy Restores Color Vision in Small Trial

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Genetic diseases are a compelling target for viral gene therapy. One condition that scientists are investigating to see if they can treat with gene therapy is a rare genetic disease called Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA is a progressive condition that disables critical cells within the retina. The damage begins at birth: it eventually robs patients of central vision and color perception, often rendering them legally blind. But there may be another way. On Wednesday, researchers presented evidence from a breakthrough gene-editing experiment that restored some color vision to patients with LCA vision loss.

CRISPR is already under investigation as a gene therapy for blood disorders like sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. It may well have other uses, such as treating cancer by editing mutated DNA. But the process is not without its hurdles. Treatments for blood disorders like these involve taking cells from the patient’s body, changing them in vitro in the lab, and then re-infusing them back into the patient’s body. That works great for blood, which you can take out, filter, and put back in with relatively few consequences.

But because LCA is a disease of the retina, you can’t just take out cells and then infuse them back in. The retina is a delicate, multilayered membrane that resents any disturbance. The eye also has a system of physical defenses not unlike the blood-brain barrier. Furthermore, the immune system sometimes responds with extreme prejudice to eye injuries or infections, to the point of causing an actual autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own eyes. How, then, could researchers get the CRISPR treatment into the retina, past the body’s ferocious defenses and without further damage?

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Oct 1, 2021

Dr. Evelyne Bischof, MD — Advancing The Frontiers Of Preventative And Precision Longevity Medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, robotics/AI

(https://www.linkedin.com/in/evelyne-yehudit-bischof/) is an expert in internal medicine and oncology, with a focus on preventative and precision medicine, bio-gerontology, and geronto-oncology.

Dr. Bischof is deeply passionate about next-generation medical technology, and the applications of artificial intelligence for biomedical research and practice.

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Oct 1, 2021

Scientists Watch Bacteria Fix Broken DNA in Real Time to See Exactly How It’s Done

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Fixing breaks in genes with speed and perfection can be a matter of life and death for most organisms. Even the simplest changes in a sequence risk catastrophe, especially if the altered code is responsible for a critical function.

Over the past half a century, biologists have studied the mechanisms involved to piece together most of the major steps involved in making faithful repairs in DNA. Yet, one part of the process has remained frustratingly unclear.

By marking key enzymes and DNA with fluorescent tags and watching the repair process unfold in real-time in an Escherichia coli model, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden have filled in missing details on how bacteria find the templates they rely on to keep genetic repairs error-free.

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Oct 1, 2021

Host genetic backgrounds underlie variable COVID-19 pathology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

New #preprint from JAX’s Nadia Rosenthal and researchers at Rocky Mountain Laboratories: “Genetically diverse mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection recapitulate clinical variation and cytokine responses in COVID-19”

The preprint, which has yet to be peer reviewed, shows that mice with different genetic backgrounds exhibit highly variable responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, mirroring the large differences in #COVID19 disease severity seen in humans:

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, tremendous progress has been made in developing effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and in treating ill patients. Nonetheless, much more needs to be learned about SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and COVID-19 progression to lessen the continuing threat of infection, as the recent emergence and rapid spread of the delta variant has emphasized.

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Sep 30, 2021

George Church views on Human Age Reversal and LEV (videoclip con S/T en Español)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Excerpt of an interview made in May 2021 by “Richard”, who runs the Modern Healthspan YouTube Channel, to George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), among many other responsibilities as a hardwork geneticist.

In this segment, George Church gives his view on whether age reversal in humans and LEV may be achieved during his lifetime.

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Sep 29, 2021

New clues hint that young boys who get serious viral infections might be more likely to develop autism

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

The mouse study even offers a possible explanation as to why: Childhood infections may cause the body to over-express genes that code for microglia, the central nervous system’s primary immune cells. That, in turn, can affect brain development, which could be at play in some traits commonly associated with autism, such as difficulty communicating verbally or recognizing familiar faces.

So the researchers experimented with drugs that target microglia, and found that they not only prevented those social issues in adult mice — they might have reversed them.


Among boys genetically predisposed to autism, a severe childhood infection could make that diagnosis more likely.

Continue reading “New clues hint that young boys who get serious viral infections might be more likely to develop autism” »

Sep 29, 2021

A Gene-Editing Experiment Let These Patients With Vision Loss See Color Again

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

On Wednesday, researchers revealed the first evidence that the approach appears to be working — improving vision for at least some patients with the condition, known as Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA, a severe form of vision impairment.


So doctors genetically modified a harmless virus to ferry the CRISPR gene editor and infused billions of the modified viruses into the retinas of Knight’s left eye and Kalberer’s right eye, as well as one eye of five other patients. The procedure was done on only one eye just in case something went wrong. The doctors hope to treat the patients’ other eye after the research is complete.

Once the CRISPR was inside the cells of the retinas, the hope was that it would cut out the genetic mutation causing the disease, restoring vision by reactivating the dormant cells.

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Sep 28, 2021

High-profile autism genetics project paused amid backlash

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

A large, UK-based study of genetics and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been suspended, following criticism that it failed to properly consult the autism community about the goals of the research. Concerns about the study include fears that its data could potentially be misused by other researchers seeking to ‘cure’ or eradicate ASD.


Study aimed at collecting DNA from 10,000 people with autism and their families has drawn criticism for failing to consult the autism community.

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